New Jobkeeper Scheme

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4th August 2020

The JobKeeper scheme, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will now continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) until 28 March 2021. Please read below to ensure you are still eligible for the JokKeeper scheme after 27 September 2020.

The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week.

From 28 September 2020 businesses seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover.

From 28 September 2020, businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the June and September quarters 2020. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.

From 4 January 2021, businesses will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test with reference to their actual GST turnover in each of the June, September and December quarters 2020 to remain eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.

To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less.

New JobKeeper payment rates

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:

• $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business for 20 hours or more a week on average, and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and

• $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be reduced to:

• $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and

• $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

Businesses will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each of their eligible employees (or business participants).

The ATO will have discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during the February 2020 reference period. For example, this will include where the employee was on leave, volunteering during the bushfires, or not employed for all or part of February 2020.

Future guidance will be provided by the ATO where the employee was paid in non-weekly or non-fortnightly pay periods and in other circumstances the general rules do not cover.

The JobKeeper Payment will continue to be made by the ATO to employers in arrears. Employers will continue to be required to make payments to employees equal to, or greater than, the amount of the JobKeeper Payment (before tax), based on the payment rate that applies to each employee.

Additional turnover tests

In order to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment after 27 September 2020, businesses will have to meet a further decline in turnover test for each of the two periods of extension, as well as meeting the other existing eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper Payment.

In order to be eligible for the first JobKeeper Payment extension period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, businesses will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in both the June quarter 2020 (April, May and June) and the September quarter 2020 (July, August, September) relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

In order to be eligible for the second JobKeeper Payment extension period of 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, businesses will again need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

The ATO will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019, in line with the Commissioner’s existing discretion.

Information about the existing discretion is at:

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/In-detail/JobKeeper-tests/Applying-the-turnover-test/?anchor=Alternativetest#Alternativetest.

Businesses will generally be able to assess eligibility based on details reported in the Business Activity Statement (BAS).

As the deadline to lodge a BAS for the September quarter or month is in late October, and the December quarter (or month) BAS deadline is in late January for monthly lodgers or late February for quarterly lodgers, businesses will need to assess their eligibility for JobKeeper in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition (which requires them to pay their eligible employees in advance of receiving the JobKeeper payment in arrears from the ATO).

The ATO will have discretion to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition, so that entities have time to first confirm their eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment.

  Employees

The eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged. This means you are eligible if you:

• are currently employed by an eligible employer (including if you were stood down or re-hired)

• were for the eligible employer (or another entity in their wholly-owned group) either: – a full-time, part-time or fixed-term employee at 1 March 2020; or

– a long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer.

• were aged 18 years or older at 1 March 2020 (if you were 16 or 17 you can also qualify for fortnights before 11 May 2020, and continue to qualify after that if you are independent or not undertaking full time study).

• were either:

– an Australian resident (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991); or

– an Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 March 2020.

• were not in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight: – government parental leave or Dad and partner pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010; or

– a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual's total incapacity for work.

Only one employer can claim the JobKeeper Payment in respect of an employee.

The self?employed will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they meet the relevant turnover test, and are not a permanent employee of another employer.

Employees will continue to receive the JobKeeper Payment through their employer during the period of the extension if they and their employer are eligible and their employer is claiming the JobKeeper Payment. However, the amount of the JobKeeper Payment will change at the rates set out above.

Important: Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this newsletter. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. Also changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. Client Alert is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our prior approval.


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Director Summit Group, Aged Care Provider